‘The biggest test will be being brave enough to step over the edge’ - Royston trio to take on 127m abseil down Northampton tower for Parkinson’s charity

PUBLISHED: 17:01 25 August 2016

Samantha Clark, Michelle Henderson and Aaron Kavanagh who are taking on a 127m abseil for Parkinson's UK.

Samantha Clark, Michelle Henderson and Aaron Kavanagh who are taking on a 127m abseil for Parkinson's UK.

Archant

A thrill-seeking trio from Royston are to take on a 127m abseil to raise money for Parkinson’s UK – and are asking others to sign up and support the cause.

The National Lift Tower in Northampton which Michelle, Samantha and Aaron will be abseiling from for Parkinson’s UK.The National Lift Tower in Northampton which Michelle, Samantha and Aaron will be abseiling from for Parkinson’s UK.

The descent down the National Lift Tower in Northampton – claimed to be the largest permanent abseil tower in the world – was organised by charity regional fundraiser Michelle Henderson.

Michelle will also be taking on the challenge in memory of her grandad.

“My grandad lived with Parkinson’s for a number of years,” said Michelle.

“He passed away 20 years ago but the cause has always remained an important one due to the impact the condition had on my grandad and how hard it made life for my nan and our family.”

Michelle has been passionate about fundraising since getting involved with the Raising and Giving society at university, after which she worked for cancer charity Macmillan for five years, another cause close to her heart as her nan had the disease.

“At the time my grandad had Parkinson’s there was very little support,” said Michelle.

“Now thanks to Parkinson’s UK there are Parkinson’s nurses, advisors, a helpline, peer support, information resources, social media outlets, support groups and thankfully more is being invested into research. I hope that by continuing to raise funds one day there will be a cure.

“I did a wing walk two years ago and raised £1,500 and so it felt time to take on another challenge to raise awareness and funds.

“It will be physical but I think the biggest test will be being brave enough to step over the edge to start the descent.”

Michelle will be supported on the day by two friends facing the drop with her.

Bassingbourn Village College student Aaron Kavanagh, who met Michelle at Trading Blows Gym in Royston, is set to be one of the youngest participants to take the plunge on the day.

“Having spoken to Michelle at boxing one evening about the abseil, I thought it would be a great challenge and made the decision to join her,” he said.

“I thought it would be a good achievement for a worthy cause and a nice way to mark the end of the school holidays.”

Accountant Samantha Clark completes their line-up, after signing up when she saw Michelle post about it on Facebook.

“I’ve done a skydive before but that was 10 years ago, and I haven’t done anything like it since,” Samantha said.

“I’ve had good support from colleagues, family, my partner, and my friends, although they all think I’m a bit mad.

“I am nervous, but it’s for a good cause and I’m looking forward to getting my feet back on the ground!”

The group would love to encourage any other daredevils from Royston to join them and help make a difference to the cause.

Parkinson’s affects one in every 500 people – around 127,000 people in the UK.

Symptoms and how quickly they progress are different for everyone, but usually include tremors, stiffness and slowness of movement.

Registration for the abseil on Saturday, September 10, is £25. There is no minimum sponsorship required but Parkinson’s UK asks that all abseilers try to raise at least £150 for the charity.

For more information or to sign up, go to parkinsons.org.uk/abseil-northampton, call 0207 963 3912 or email fundraising@parkinsons.org.uk.

If you are not quite the abseiling type but would like to add to the group’s total go to justgiving.com/fundraising/Michelle-Sam-Aaron


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